Toronto-by-way-of-Jamaica reggae artist Ammoye has a lot riding on her latest release, The Light. The Juno-nominated singer-songwriter deals in a traditional yet future-forward reggae sound — with R&B and Gospel influences — and recently overcame some health-related issues that put an emerging career on hold. The Light is her return, and a solidly produced one at that.
Running at 19 tracks, there is a lot to parse here, but the bulk of it has replay value. The standout "Outta Town" maintains an old-school rocksteady feel — equal parts smooth, raucous and vibrant — while "Soul Rebel" delivers an authentic dubwise mentality wrapped in an empowerment ethos that speaks well-worn yet worthy lyrics: "You have the authority / So stand up in solidarity."
"Are You Ready" speaks to tribulations of the modern dating scene, and though "Good Vibes" is a good but not great '80s R&B-style offering, the bop of "Don't Count Me Out" hits the dub sweet spot, and is tailor-made for repeated spins. Ammoye is making a statement with The Light, shining positive attention on the quality of reggae music being made in this country. (eOne)